Passport Facts, Quick and Easy
A lot of people have asked me what they need when they’re planning a trip to Mexico…
Well, first and foremost you need to get your passport ready!
It’s not that hard to obtain and once you get it out of the way, you can travel virtually anywhere in the word.
In this article I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to get your passport quickly, easily, and with minimal fuss. You might think such a powerful document like a passport would be difficult to obtain. It’s not, as long as you know the facts. So here we go…
Let’s start with the basics. Your passport:
• Is a legal document.
• Is internationally recognized.
• Verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer.
• Is valid for air, land and sea crossing, including ferries.
• Is required to enter and leave most foreign countries.
• Is procured only through the U.S. Department of State.
• All persons must have their own passports, including infants.
There are over nine thousand passport acceptance facilities located in the United States. The facilities may be located in Federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county and municipal offices. You must apply in person for your passport:
• If you are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time.
• If your previous U.S. passport has expired.
• If your expired U.S. passport is not in your possession.
• If your passport was issued more than 15 years ago.
• If you were 16 when you received your previous passport.
• If your currently valid U.S. passport has been lost or stolen.
To procure a U.S. passport you will need:
1. Two photographs of yourself.
2. Proof of U.S. citizenship.
3. A valid photo i.d.,such as your driver’s license.
You can renew by mail if:
1. You have a recent, undamaged/unaltered passport to submit.
2. You received the passport within the past 15 years.
3. You were over age 16 when it was issued.
From January 23, 2007: All persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada or Mexico and some other destinations, will be required to present a valid passport or Air NEXUS card, U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card.
As early as January 1, 2008: All persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada or Mexico, and some other destinations, by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. Fees for Your Passport: (Form DS-11) Are Non-Refundable.
Age 16 and older: The passport application fee is $67. The execution fee is $30. The total is$97. Under Age 16: The passport application fee is $52. The execution fee is $30. The total is $82 and will be available for use for travel only via land or sea (including ferries) between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
Department of Safety and Department of Homeland Security anticipate that the following documents will continue to be acceptable for their current travel uses under WHTI: SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, and the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.
Conversely, members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty traveling on orders will continue to be exempt from the passport requirement.
Be as protective of your passport as your wallet or purse. A valid passport is worth big bucks to certain people. Our Czech daughter-in-law gave us even more insight into how precious a U.S. passport is… When she came into the states the first time and had her Czech passport stamped with the U.S. mark, she exclaimed “You, here in America don’t know just how much this passport is worth to some people now, especially when it has been stamped in America!”
Indeed… it’s valuable to YOU and valuable to others — if it falls into the wrong hands.
So, hang onto to that precious document! As far as Dick and I are concerned, the little bit of time required to attain your passport is far worth the worry and time you might have when standing in line, when you’re ready to come back to the United States.
So, go ahead – get your passport taken care of – they are good for ten years. Then when you travel, you’ll be prepared.